New SAPS Bill will boost fight against corruption in police, Newsline

Parties have come out in support of amendments proposed by Police Minister Bheki Cele that aims to crack down on corruption in the police.

The parties also believe the amendments will be able to deal with the issue of handling protests, which sometimes descend into violence.

In the past few years there have been a number of incidents where police had to use lethal force against protestors.

According to the IFP and ACDP, the changes to the law governing the police will go a long way in addressing corruption and use of lethal force and other shortcomings.

IFP MP Zandile Majozi said the SAPS Amendment Bill will be able to deal with vetting of officers to prevent corruption.

“There should be no officer who is involved in corruption and the lifestyle audits will be able to identify such people,” said Majozi.

She added that the issue of the use of lethal force was important and the Bill has addressed this.

“The new rules around firearms regulations, which prohibit the use of automatic rifles in crowd control management, is a step in the right direction to demilitarize the SAPS and to increase community trust in the police,” said Majozi.

ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe said these were important changes in the SAPS and would ensure there was no corruption.

He said the use of lethal force must not be allowed unless there was a sound reason.

“The issue of using live ammunition during protests must be banned. Unless people are using real guns police must use lethal force,” said Meshoe.

He said the issue of the lifestyle audits against the police was important because no officer must live beyond their means.

“The issue of lifestyle audits is important because the police officers must do their job without being bribed,” said Meshoe.

Cele said the amendments to the law would strengthen the police.

“These amendments make room for accountability and discipline within the police service and I believe they will go a long way in ensuring that the SAPS better serves the people of this country whilst at the same time boost the trust between communities and the men and women in blue,” said Cele.

Political Bureau